Carrots, spinach, kale, Swiss chard and mustard greens all once played big parts in the American diet, but many of these vegetables, rich in vitamins A and E, seem to have fallen out of favor with consumers. This trend is not only damaging to heart health, but also can contribute to hearing loss.
A study conducted by the University of Sydney in Australia looked at the antioxidant content of the diets from 3,000 participants during the past five years. The results showed those subjects who had the highest intake of vitamin A had a 50% risk reduction for severe or moderate hearing loss. The study showed reactive oxygen damages the inner ear, which can damage the ability to hear. Antioxidants reduce the risk for damage, thus protecting the sense of sound. The subjects in the study with the highest level of vitamin E content showed a 15% reduction in risk of hearing damage.
According to the researchers, diet is one of the few modifiable risk factors for age-related hearing loss. The authors’ goal was to examine the link between dietary and supplement intakes of antioxidants as well as both the prevalence and five-year incidence of measured hearing loss.